Hockensmith is the author of the Holmes on the Range mystery series for St. Martin's Minotaur. The books star cowboy brothers "Big Red" and "Old Red" Amlingmeyer, detective wannabes who solve mysteries using the methods of their hero, Sherlock Holmes. (The characters made their debut in the February 2003 issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine (EQMM) and have returned to the magazine's pages several times since.) The first book in the series, Holmes on the Range (published in 2006), was a finalist for the Edgar, Shamus and Anthony Awards for Best First Novel. Three sequels ... On the Wrong Track (2007), The Black Dove (2008), and The Crack in the Lens (2009) ... have been published so far.
Several of Hockensmith's short stories have been nominated for awards in the mystery field. He won the Short Mystery Fiction Society's Derringer Award for "Erie's Last Day," published in the May 2000 issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine (AHMM). Two subsequent Larry Erie stories, "Tricks" (AHMM, August 2004) and "The Big Road" (AHMM, May 2005), were finalists for the Shamus Award for Best Short Story from the Private Eye Writers of America (PWA). "The Big Road" was also nominated for the Anthony and Barry Award. More recently, a Big Red/Old Red story, "Dear Dr. Watson" (published in the February 2007 EQMM), was a finalist for the Anthony Award.
A journalist by training, Hockensmith originated the "Reel Crime" film/TV column for AHMM.
Hockensmith authored the third book in the Quirk Classics series, Dawn of the Dreadfuls, in 2010.